73-year-old James Wathen was sick as a dog when he was rushed to the hospital weeks earlier. Frail, unable to eat, Wathen was barely able to speak when he whispered how much he missed his pooch to one of his attending nurses. He hadn’t seen his dog since he was hospitalized.
A team of nurses learned more about Wathen’s pet; a one-eyed Chihuahua named Bubba and decided to give the old man some comfort by bending the hospital rules a little. They looked for Bubba through a series of phone calls to various animal shelters and happily reunited the pooch with his master.
Bubba was taken in by a foster family after Wathen was rushed to the hospital. And coincidentally, the dog fell ill around the same time as well.
According to Mary-Ann Smyth, president of the non-profit facility, Bubba stopped eating the day Wathen became ill. The little pooch lacked his bottom row of teeth along with his right eye, was found frail and sickly, his health was deteriorating too. But one visit to the hospital where Wathen lay recovering restored the little dog’s zest for life.
Check out the heartwarming reunion between Wathen and Bubba:
And by the time the dog was taken the second time to visit his master, both man and dog were getting back to health!
Smyth said, “He’s done a complete turnaround. He’s speaking, he’s sitting up, he’s eating. He doesn’t look like the same guy. And the dog is eating and doing better now, too!”
It’s not uncommon for pet lovers to fall ill when separated from their pets. Resident nurse Kimberly Probus told WKYT-TV, “one of our social workers realized it was mourning the loss of the dog that was making our patient even worse and emotionally unhealthy.”
The team of nurses who made the reunion possible hopes to show others the healing power of pets and encourage animal lovers to adopt pets from shelters.